x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Slain grocer's friends baffled by killing

Friends of an Indian grocer fatally stabbed in Abu Dhabi say they are lost for a motive or suspect.

Kolichal Abdul Razak, 38, was found bleeding in the entrance of his shop near Le Méridien hotel.
Kolichal Abdul Razak, 38, was found bleeding in the entrance of his shop near Le Méridien hotel.

ABU DHABI // Friends of an Indian grocer who was fatally stabbed in the capital on Friday say they do not know why anyone might have wanted to kill him. Kolichal Abdul Razak, 38, from Kasargod in Kerala, was found bleeding in the entrance of his shop near Le Méridien hotel in the Tourist Club area on Friday afternoon. The attack took place during prayers, when a number of shops in the area were still closed and others were temporarily left empty as employees and residents prayed in a nearby mosque.

Witnesses said two men rushed to Mr Razak's assistance at the shop, the Hadi Grocery, one trying to stem the bleeding from a chest wound and the other calling the police. Mr Razak died at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City that evening. He is survived by his wife, Suhra, and two young sons, Rahad and Rafiq, in India. Police yesterday denied media reports that three people had been arrested in connection with Mr Razak's murder. "We have not arrested or detained anyone and are still looking for the killer in this case," said Maktoum al Shareifi, manager of intelligence at Abu Dhabi CID.

Friends dismissed media reports that the stabbing may have been the result of a dispute over money. "He was a man who kept to himself and did not bother anybody," said a friend, also from Kerala. "He did not interfere in anyone's business, and he did not borrow or loan money. He was not the kind to have enemies either." Another friend described Mr Razak as a "shy guy who did not form relationships based on money".

"That was not his business. He was a quiet man. He did not like to bother people. "He was a bit of a loner and kept to himself. He was not obliged to anyone and always tried to keep a proper balance in life." The weapon that was apparently used in the killing, a knife that had not been stolen from the shop, was found in an alley between the grocery store and a nearby pharmacy, said one of Mr Razak's friends, who attended the same high school as Mr Razak in Kerala.

The high-school friend said that friends and family were baffled about a motive for the attack on Mr Razak. They said he had returned from India about eight months ago after having a housewarming ceremony with his wife and children to celebrate the purchase of their new home in Kasargod. "I am really sad. You hear about incidents like this, but this is the kind of things that happen to other people," the high-school friend said.

"I still find it hard to believe that such a thing could ever happen to my friend." It remains unclear whether the attack on Mr Razak occurred during a robbery - and whether any cash or goods were stolen. By yesterday morning, police tape had been removed from around the shop, but a clean-up of the scene had yet to begin. The shop sold household items such as cleaning supplies and stocked a variety of other items including food and newspapers. Mr Razak had lived and worked in the country for 14 years.

In addition to his wife and sons, he is survived his by four brothers, Abdul Karim, Ahmed Kunin, Suleman and Kunnamad, all of whom are believed to reside in Abu Dhabi. The brothers could not be reached for comment but were said to be trying to arrange for the repatriation of Mr Razak's body. @Email:sbhattacharya@thenational.ae